Amazing women in my life

My mom's birthday was this past weekend and it got me thinking how incredibly blessed I am to have such a wonderful Mom. Not only that, I have also been influenced and mentored by many amazing, talented women. This post is for them.

My momma- the reason I am who I am.

- My mom lead me into teaching. My mom has been a substitute, teacher assistant, and is now the school secretary. I grew up going to school on workdays, punching die cuts and cutting laminated things. I saw the hard work and dedication it took to be a teacher. Today, as a teacher, I hear myself say the things my mom said growing up. That's a good thing. I hope her compassion comes out of my words as I teach, inspire, and mentor my students.

- She always believed in me. There has never been a single thing my mom (and dad of course) didn't believe I could do. In fact, sometimes they think I can do more than I think possible to begin with! That's pretty incredible. I have 2 cheerleaders who are always on my side, encouraging me to be my absolute best in whatever I do. I guess that is why I am so driven.

- My mom loved me unconditionally. As a mother should... even in my terribly awkward years... or my mean, impossible to be around me years.... in the I'm too busy and cool for mom years.... and the emotional break down my life is falling apart years... and the "Mom, I'm getting married" years. She was there to add some quiet words of wisdom that spoke louder than anything else. She loved me, despite who I was at the moment. (Reminds me of God's love for me as well, I guess that's why he gave us parents to begin with.) Thank you Momma.

Pam Moyers- the reason I teach where I teach.

- Phenomenal teaching... because ALL kids can learn. I walked into Mrs. Moyers' classroom and saw this diverse group of little people. I was intimidated at first because this was so different than any school setting I grew up in, but after 2.5 seconds, I felt like part of her family of learners. I saw this amazing thing happen in that classroom that I will never forget- it didn't matter what color these children were or if they could read or not. What mattered was that they were important, they were learning, and they Loved it. For those 7 hours a day, their world was fun, intriguing, and wonderful with Mrs. Moyers. I wanted to be THAT teacher. I still do.

- She invested in ME. Mrs. Moyers took the time to help me with my college assignments. I would go to her house and she would review things with me, help me with job applications, reflection and preparation for student teaching. She is every student teacher's dream. Without her, I might still be in my Junior year of college, not sure where to go next!

- Last, Mrs. Moyers saw in me what no one else had taken the time to see before. As an educator, she saw in me what I saw in her. She saw the drive, the motivation, my love of kids and she pushed me. She would not let me slack or settle. She made me think and act like the educator I am today. Even now, when I am less than motivated, I think about how hard that small, petite woman works and how I have to keep up with her. She inspires me, still today. Thank you, Mrs. Moyers.

Susan Durham- she gave me my voice.

- When I was 10, I started taking voice lessons in Wake Forest with Susan. I had a natural talent, but didn't know what to do with it. I liked singing, I liked performing, but knew nothing beyond that. Susan started working with me and heard the Broadway voice come out. She helped me get my audition piece, head shot, and resume' ready for North Carolina Theatre auditions. Forget small local theatre, Susan made me start with the big dogs at the age of 11! My second audition with NCT was for Annie, & I made it. I had no idea what I was doing, but Susan was there every step. She would help me prepare my show pieces, my delivery, my presence, everything. For that show, and many more to follow.

- Tough love. I will never forget one vocal competition, I wasn't feeling well. It didn't matter. "Lindsey, you sing above your sickness. You have the ability, focus on your placement, and you can do it." She was right. Singing, performing, teaching, for the most part I can perform "above my sickness." Singers get sick a lot, so this is still a norm for me. But I listen to my body and know when to push it and when to stop. The lesson I learned was to fight for what I want. Don't just sit back and watch things happen around you. If you want it, go for it.

- With Susan's guidance, I began my college journey as a vocal major, (which later turned into a music minor and Elem. Ed major.) Susan would travel with me to my auditions, she was my coach, my cheerleader, my mentor. She sang "The Lord's Prayer" at our wedding last year, which was a dream come true. That day, her voice brought me chills and her heart brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Susan.

I am thankful, blessed, honored to have great people in my life throughout the years. Especially these three women. They have helped shape me into the woman I am today.